Target: US Department of Fish and Wildlife Service
Goal: Mandate stricter punishment to those who are caught dealing ivory and prioritize cracking down on ivory trade
Recently, two New York jewelers were forced to pay $55,000 in fines and forfeit over $2 million dollars of illegal ivory trinkets when they were caught by an off-duty wildlife inspector. While this looks like a huge blow to the illegal ivory trade, it is only the tip of the iceberg. The jewelers were caught by accident, and had been selling ivory out in the open, despite New York’s strict ivory laws.
The US Department of Fish and Wildlife Services controls ivory sales, which are, for the most part, illegal, and only ivory obtained before African elephants were put on the endangered species list in 1978 may be sold, if the seller has obtained a permit. Only an estimated 450,000 elephants remain in Africa, down from between five and ten million in the 1930s, and last year, ivory from at least 2,500 elephants was seized globally.
Elephants are killed or left for dead when poachers go after their ivory, and while most people think of China when they think of illegal ivory, it is still sold in the US. The only way to curb the continuous slaughter of elephants is to curb the demand for ivory, and the World Wildlife Fund is singling out the US in the crackdown on the ivory trade. The US needs to prioritize wildlife smuggling, provide more staff to investigate jewelers and possible ivory traders, and instigate stiffer punishment for those caught selling illegal ivory.
By signing the petition below, you are asking the US Fish and Wildlife Service to do more to prevent illegal wildlife smuggling, and help keep African elephants from becoming just a memory to our future generations.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services,
The elephant population in Africa is quickly dwindling, with no end in sight, because of illegal ivory smuggling. Even though the US bans the sale of ivory obtained after 1978, jewelers are still getting ivory from poachers and selling it out in the open. Meanwhile, elephants are being slaughtered every day, and young elephants are dying when they are left orphaned and abandoned because their families have been killed for their ivory.
Please prioritize cracking down on wildlife smuggling, and do more to locate and punish jewelers who sell ivory. There is so much more that can be done to prevent the sale of ivory, and once there is no longer a demand for it, there is no need to kill elephants. If we continue along this path, our future generations will never know a live African elephant in their lifetimes–please don’t allow this to happen.
[Your Name Here]